University Health Services gives more than 12,000 flu shots during annual campaign

Hannah Williford

University Health Services concluded its month-long flu shot campaign Thursday, giving 12,655 shots to students, faculty and staff. 

UHS outreach coordinator Sherry Bell said the campaign started Sept. 24 and ran three days a week as a walk-in clinic across campus. 

“What we try to do with the campaign is … take it across campus so that it’s convenient for students to pick a site that’s close to them,” Bell said. “We’re trying to reduce the barriers of convenience and cost … We want students to be able to walk by, see we are giving a clinic, hop in line and get their shot.”

While the shot could be covered by insurance, uninsured people paid $10 to receive a shot. Bell said the line could look daunting, but shots usually took 20 to 25 minutes besides rare occasions.

“It was pretty quick,” neuroscience sophomore Taran Nudurumati said. “Actually, I came earlier about an hour ago, and the line was huge, and I was like, ‘OK, I’ll wait a bit.’ And then it cleared up, so I guess it depends on the time you come, but usually it’s pretty painless.”

Chemistry freshman Allison Craig also said the process was relatively simple.

“It was a little bit complicated when I was doing my insurance information, but besides that it was easy, and the shot itself takes three seconds,” Craig said.

Other universities, including Texas A&M University, the University of North Texas and Texas State University, also run flu shot campaigns during the fall. 

Richard Darnell, Texas A&M associate director of medical facilities and support and Student Health Services, said the school delivered an estimated 4,800 flu shots in a two-day campaign. Half of the students who received flu shots got them for free, he said.

Irma Levrie, Texas State market coordinator of Student Health Center, said Texas State was forced to delay its campaign until November due to manufacturing delays. She said Texas State gave out 500 flu shots during their campaign last year.

The University of North Texas has also not completed their 2019 campaign but is planning to open 10 pop-up clinics and gave out 1,574 shots last year, said Amy Armstrong, UNT senior communications strategist for the Division of Student Affairs.

“The flu is not just a bad cold,” Bell said. “The whole campaign is to keep our students in class and our faculty and staff at work.”

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported that Texas State gave out 500 flu shots this year, when the number was for a previous year. Additionally, the infographic that originally went with this article has been removed due to incorrect information. The Texan regrets these errors.